Home Tech How To Install A Wildcard SSL Certificate On NGINX

How To Install A Wildcard SSL Certificate On NGINX

by Laxman Thapa
How To Install A Wildcard SSL Certificate On NGINX

Are you wondering how to install a wildcard SSL certificate on an Nginx server? Are you worried about the price of wildcard SSL certificates? Relax! We will simplify these concepts and break them down into the most non-technical terms. The best is yet to come! We will also reveal a cheap SSL coupon code that cuts down the price of Wildcard SSL certificates and makes them more affordable. 

You can then skim through the options and pick one offered by a trusted Certificate Authority (CA). Although there are SSL providers out there and many cheap wildcard SSL certificate providers in 2021 are expected shortly. Thus, to protect your best interests, make it a point to choose a service provider who offers SSLs from reliable CAs. 

The first step in successfully installing a Wildcard SSL Certificate is by understanding what it is and how it works. This way, you won’t be perplexed when we talk about the asterisk while running the installation.

What is a Wildcard SSL?

A Wildcard SSL certificate is an advanced SSL that lets you encrypt client-server communication from the same website’s multiple subdomains. For instance, if you own www.MyDomainName.com, then login.MyDomainName.com and store.MyDomainName.com would be its subdomains. 

Thus, the Wildcard SSL is ideal for websites with multiple subdomains. Speaking of the installation process, it’s pretty straightforward, and we will do our best to keep it that way. With that sorted, let us now dive into how to install a wildcard SSL on your NGINX server.

Step 1 – Generate CSR

Once you have identified a cheap Wildcard SSL Certificate provider, the next step is to file the Certificate Signing Request (CSR). In this application, you request the CA to sign the digital certificate and issue it in your favor. Thus, you must provide the CA with the necessary information required to validate your request for an SSL certificate. 

That includes the following:

  • Your full domain name
  • Legal Name of your Business
  • Name of the Department in which your work (IT, Finance, etc.)
  • City, State, Country
  • Email Address
  • Root length – Minimum 2048-bit RSA

To generate the CSR, you will be establishing a connection with the server, so make sure to install an SSH client application of your choice. You can choose Putty, Kitty, Smarty, XShell, or any other SSH client to follow the below-mentioned steps.

  • Log into the SSH client with Administrative rights.
  • Soon after the connection is established, type the following in the terminal to generate the CSR and Private keys. 

openssl req –new –newkey rsa:2048 –nodes –keyout (keyname).key –out (keyname).csr

  • When prompted to enter the FQDN or the hostname, enter the domain name preceded by an asterisk, as shown below. The asterisk, also known as the wildcard character, is essential for generating CSR and a Private key for a wildcard certificate.

Note – Instead of ‘keyname’; you can use whatever name you wish to give to that particular key. Likewise, replace ‘MyDomainName’ with whichever domain you want to encrypt with a Wildcard SSL.

By the time you are done with this step, the CSR and Private keys would be generated and saved in the relevant user directory. However, you must be cautious while entering commands under this step because if you mess up, you will have to go back to square one and generate the CSR.

Step 2 – Access the CSR

Now that the connection is established and the keys are generated, it is time to access the CSR. You can do that by typing the following code in the terminal.

Nano (keyname).csr

Note – Instead of ‘keyname,’ enter the name you had given to the CSR key in the earlier step.

You must manually copy the CSR and save it in a text file. Next, email that file to your CA and wait for the validation process to be completed. Finally, it’s time to install the wildcard SSL on your NGINX server, so let us find out how you can do that.

Step 3 – Install the Approved Wildcard SSL Certificate on the NGINX Server

After successful validation, the CA will inform you about it and send a file package to the email ID you provided while making the CSR request. You will have to use that package’s contents for the installation process, so copy-paste those contents into relevant files and save them for further use.

  • Next, use the privileged login to establish a connection with the NGINX server.
  • Combine the certificates by entering the following code:

crt COMODORSADomainValidationSecureServerCA.crt >> bundle.crt

  • Use the following command to edit the virtual host file and channel connections through the HTTPS port, which is the 443 port.

listen 443

Then add the following:

ssl on;

ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/MyDomainName.pem; (or bundle.crt)

ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/MyDomainName.key;

Note – Replace ‘MyDomainName’ with the name of the domain for which you wish to install the Wildcard SSL Certificate.

  • Restart NGINX, and you are done.

When you restart your NGINX server, the changes you made will take effect. After that, the Wildcard SSL certificate would encrypt client-server communication by redirecting requests to the HTTPS port.

Final Takeaway

As we transition into the 5G era, internet users cannot be expected to wait too long for the website or the application to load. All you have is just a couple of seconds, so the need of the hour is high-speed content delivery. Thus, website owners and web architects use the NGINX server, known for its many features such as faster content delivery, load balancing, and scalability. 

Along with that, it is also necessary to install an advanced SSL to protect your website users’ best interests. In addition to increasing security, it also helps your website comply with data security laws and regulations such as the GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and so on. 

On the other hand, if you are concerned about the price of wildcard SSL certificates, give it up. There are many cheap wildcard SSL certificate providers in 2021. We hope that the abovementioned 3-step process has helped you install a wildcard certificate on the NGINX server. If you experience any difficulties, leave us a comment, and we will do our best to provide a suitable resolution.

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